Rebekah Koffler, a former U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency agent and author of “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America,” said on Fox News that she thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin feels “cornered like a rat” and that his personal history will cause him to lash out to regain control.
Koffler related a story from Putin’s childhood in which he chased a rat in his rat-infested apartment into a corner, and it attacked him. She says Putin learned from that experience that when he feels cornered, he will act the same way as the rat.
By telling this and other stories in his autobiography, she said he is signaling to the West that he will always fight back when trapped.
“He wants people to know that when cornered, he will be fighting,” Koffler told Fox News. “He will not be surrendering.”
Koffler said Putin made two major miscalculations when he invaded Ukraine: he didn’t think the smaller nation would fight back as hard as they have, and he didn’t realize that technology would bring images and stories of his invasion to the entire world, which has galvanized many nations against him.
“He definitely miscalculated and now he feels that he’s trapped because he has to execute this operation and reach his goal,” she said.
Koffler further said that after Putin saw the U.S. bring down regimes in Libya and Iraq, he feared that the U.S. would do the same thing to Russia. He was further agitated by American leaders calling him a “madman” and calling for his assassination.
Now, he sees the invasion of Ukraine as a fight for his country’s survival.
The fact that NATO forces are now much closer to Russia than they were during the Cold War also plays into Putin feeling threatened by the U.S. and Europe.
What to do
Koffler expects that Putin will use cyberattacks, satellite disruptions, bomb civilian areas, and even use nuclear weapons if he thinks things are going badly enough.
“He will run his troops into the ground,” Koffler said, and added that he will “level Kyiv” if he feels that is “what he needs to do.”
It seems that Ukraine is in a terrible catch-22: if they remain strong, Putin could use nukes on them, but if they give in, they will be subject to Russia.